Force India sets sights on podium finishes
24 February 2014 – Force India Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley is hoping the outfit can challenge for podiums this season.
Although the Silverstone-based squad, like the majority of its rivals, has endured a selection of teething issues throughout the pre-season testing period so far, it appears well-placed with Mercedes' powertrain setup.
"I think we've established ourselves as the best of the rest teams," Fernley commented, referring to Force India's sixth place finish in last year's Constructors' standings, which equals its best overall classification in Formula 1.
"We've got five teams in front and we've got to get in amongst them. We've got to be challenging for podiums."
Fernley added that, although Mercedes appears to have stolen a march on rivals Ferrari and Renault with the development of its new turbocharged 1.6-litre unit, he expects the latter two to promptly make up lost ground.
"It would be engine dominated this year and the biggest differential would be who got the right engine and at the right time," he said. "It looks that Mercedes have a slight lead but that will change. It's only a matter of time."
Force India's sole podium finish to date was achieved by Giancarlo Fisichella at the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix.